Catholic Faith Corner

Living in the Light
of Jesus Christ

Sea of Galilee at Sunrise

Catholic Faith Corner

Living in the Light
of Jesus Christ

A Jesus Who Laughs

Since Jesus is true man, he must have had a funny bone. The gospels don’t record times when Jesus laughed, grinned, or even smiled. Still, it’s easy to think of his joy in certain situations.

– As a baby, he must have laughed, as babies do, when Joseph tossed him in the air or as Mary tickled him.

– Playing games with the other boys in Nazareth, he must have laughed.

Jesus must have smiled . . .

– at the servants’ amazed faces when they discovered wine in the water jars

– when he blessed the children after the apostles tried to chase them away

– as he returned Jairus’s daughter to him

– when he noticed Zacchaeus in the sycamore tree

– when the leper came back to thank him

– after he rose and surprised Mary Magdalene

Jesus was not above playing a prank on Peter. He had this fisherman find the payment for their taxes in fish.

Speaking of fish, I love Jesus’s joyful reaction in the Chosen series when miraculously hundreds of fish are flopping around in the apostles’ boats. (If you haven’t seen these movies, give yourself a treat and look them up!)

Like any effective speaker, Jesus used humor when he preached. Can you visualize a camel going through the eye of a needle—especially if it had two humps? Or can you picture a log in your eye? The Pharisees straining out a gnat but swallowing a camel? A burning oil lamp placed under a bed?

Jesus’s rural audience must have roared at the silly farmer who strewed precious seed on paths, rocks, and thorn bushes. And the idea that seeds would produce a hundredfold was outrageous.

Jesus teased James and John by calling them Sons of Thunder.

God’s Sense of Humor

We, who have a sense of humor, are made in God’s image. It follows then that God has a sense of humor.  God’s humor is obvious when you consider some of his creations:  a giraffe, a hippopotamus, a platypus, a kangaroo, and a two-year-old.

The god Dagon

In the Old Testament we see God making Sarah, an old woman, pregnant.  Then there was the time the Philistines captured the Ark of the Covenant and set it across from their god Dagon. The next morning, Dagon had fallen face down. The Philistines propped him up again. But the next day he was face down again, and his arms were broken off. Also there was the day a boy killed a giant with a slingshot.

I’m sure that sometimes God orchestrates things in your life that are downright funny.

Our Sense of Humor

Clearly humor is a godlike quality. You can show it in many ways like . . .

– telling jokes

– playing a prank

– telling a funny story about yourself

– sending a humorous greeting card

– watching a comedy series or a funny movie

– reading a joke book or cartoons

Here are a couple cartoons for you:

Some saints were known for the humor. Most outstanding is St. Philip Neri, who acted like a clown. St. Lawrence is another one. While being roasted to death on a gridiron, supposedly he said, “Turn me over. I’m done on this side.” And as St. Thomas More was being beheaded, he moved his beard aside away from the ax’s blow and quipped, “This hasn’t offended the king.”

Laugh freely and heartily. Enjoy a good belly laugh. It’s good for the health of our body and our soul. Laughter is contagious.  Making others laugh is a work of mercy. Bishop Anthony Pilla once said we ought to practice “the diaconate of humor.”

On YouTube there are videos that teach yoga laughter.  Here is one of them…

• Look for funny things that happen in the course of a day. What made you laugh recently?

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Jesus depends on us to spread the Good News of God’s love, offering the world hope and joy. Mary Kathleen, a Sister of Notre Dame from Chardon, Ohio, responds through writing, speaking, giving retreats, and teaching. Her motto, adopted from Eddie Doherty’s gravesite, is “All my words for the Word.”

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